Local News

State tests Cary plant's crackers for salmonella

Posted January 19, 2009 2:16 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Inspectors with the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have been collecting samples from a Cary cracker plant since last week to test for possible salmonella contamination.

The Kellogg's plant, which produces products under the Austin and Keebler brand names, received peanut butter from a Peanut Corp. of America plant in Georgia that has been linked to a national salmonella outbreak.

Kellogg's recalled 16 products last week because of possible contamination.

Agriculture inspectors on Monday collected samples of peanut butter paste that were shipped to the Cary plant from August to January, department spokesman Joe Reardon said. The plant received 37 shipments of 47,000 pounds each during that period, he said.

They already have tested six types of peanut butter, 18 product samples and 17 environmental and contact samples from the plant's blenders, conveyor belts, floors, walls and drains. All have tested negative for salmonella, Reardon said.

Reardon said that a plant that makes pet treats is the only other North Carolina facility to receive peanut butter from the Georgia plant. Agriculture inspectors also will test products from that plant, he said.

Food companies and retailers across the U.S. have been recalling products with peanut butter in them because of suspicion of contamination amid a salmonella outbreak that has killed at least six people, including one in Catawba County, and sickened more than 470 others in 43 states.

At least 90 people have been hospitalized.